Clay: If you had to ask creative people what their nemesis is, I bet 99 out of 99 would say “procrastination.” It is easy to say “I’ll finish that project tomorrow, that elusive word will come to me in time, I need more time to perfect this idea.” Procrastination has been a long bedfellow of mine, even though I realize I can break through anything just by doing.
I think that is what has drawn me to Daveit Ferris’ 365 Sparks Project, aside from the amazing music that came out of the A Taste of 365 Sparks EP. I listened to the 5 tracks and thought to myself: this guy recorded 360 more of these, one each day, I have no excuses not to be creative. Sure, there was a run-in with supraglottitis (and a near death experience because of it) which led to this creative endeavor, but it personifies the philosophical question: What would accomplish with your life knowing that life can be snuffed out at the snap of a finger?
Greg: I guess I’ll explain how long we’ve been listening to this EP before writing anything about it later then.
A Taste of 365 Sparks does two things: as mentioned, it brings to light the question of what are we all doing with our lives; but, it also answers that with “don’t procrastinate, do.” Do what you’re passionate about. Do discover new music. Do find something out of your comfort zone if you have to. Do create without regard for the critics. And as the late great Stuart Scott put it “Do You.”
Now what Daveit Ferris does is create great rock in the vein of the late 90s, all while spinning a more meaningful sound than “What’s My Age Again?” or anything Custom created.
Clay: Well, thanks for bringing up the weakest link of 2002 music.
I think the late 90s is a great comparison, not necessarily because of thematic similarities but because of the ability to churn out pop rock powerhouse anthems that you want to crank up to 11. Tracks like “Blood Generator” with driving riffs,giant hooks, and vocals that sound like an over-caffeinated Mark Oliver Everett have me consistently reaching for this album when I need to dig deep.
The risk with a project of this scope is that it eliminates the “edit” piece of the creative process; I mean, with all due respect, there is no single way that all 365 songs are going to be great, but the ambition makes up for that. Much like Jonathan Coulton’s “Thing A Week,” there is a ton of content that gets funneled into a fantastic set list. We start to see with these five tracks and some of the content that has popped up on the site; “Keep Your Resolutions” and “Google Me” come to mind specifically.
Greg: There are definitely risks with such a bold undertaking, and the fact that he undertook it is incredibly important.
We have witnessed many bands spend a lot more time to come up with something far less than this. His ability to take that guilty pleasure rock sound and twist it into a grownup mentality with lyrics like “I know it be/nice to have a/Guinness tonight/But I’m on the Wagon” in “On the Wagon,” because Guinness is a delicious grown man’s drink (unless you’re really trying not to drink. In that case it is wrong), then transitioning into “All I Wanted,” which changes pace quite a bit, as it passionately pleas “All I wanted/Was a moment/just to pretend we’re alive.”
All in all, Sparks grabs tightly to harmonies that are hugely successful, licks that are simply invigorating, and a wall of rock that boldly plants feet worth taking notice of. Ingeniously, Daveit Ferris breathes life into a sound born out of the possibility of nothing.
Clay: To quote Red from The Shawshank Redemption: “[It] comes down to a simple choice, get busy living, or get busy dying.” If this project can’t inspire you to do the former, then have a root beer and give it a listen again. Maybe read some of the handwritten lyrics and the background to each track that Ferris has taken painstaking effort to put on each page. Or have you no soul?
Keep track of your daily dose of guilty pleasure pop-rock and creative inspiration at 365sparks.com. It’s released daily at 5 p.m. Northern Ireland time, so we’ll let you do the time zone calculations. Listen, it’s good for the soul.
Clay and Greg co-founded Nanobot and have a love for philosophy, quoting 90s movies, and turn of the millennium rock (but not figuring out time zones).